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Several Municipalities Pass Gun Safety Ordinances in Month Since Local Control Law Goes Into Effect

August 10, 2020

On July 1, legislation untying the hands of local officials went into effect in Virginia, allowing city and county officials to introduce ordinances to prohibit carrying firearms into city-owned or operated parks, buildings, recreation centers and on streets adjacent to permitted events.

So far, more than 600,000 Virginia residents now live in communities that have enacted rules to prohibit guns in municipal buildings, parks and other sensitive locations. Richmond was the first city to enact such an ordinance, after passing the policy in 2019 — exactly one year before Virginia’s preemption repeal went into effect. In the month since the law went into effect, the cities of Alexandria and Newport News have also joined the list. Fairfax County and Falls Church City are expected to hold meetings on similar ordinances in the coming months.

As Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney writes in a Washington Post op-ed, Virginia’s new law better equips local officials to protect communities in the Commonwealth:

“Parents should not have to worry about guns being carried in the local park where they bring their children to play. People should not fear for their lives simply for going to a parade. Local officials must have the ability to keep guns out of the places in their communities where they pose a risk, and this law is a first step in granting local governments that authority.”

Moms Demand Action volunteers will continue to advocate on the county and city levels, urging local officials to pass ordinances that will keep their communities safe from gun violence.

If you have any questions, or would like to speak with a volunteer about these efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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